Coors Light Vs Michelob Ultra

Coors Light and Michelob Ultra are among the two top-five selling beers in the United States. That alone reveals enough about how successful these beers are. They are also both light beers that have been pushed for their refreshing nature. One question beer lovers ask is which of the beers to crack open on a relaxing day. We will address that here, starting with this quick answer.

Michelob Ultra and Coors Light are light American lagers. They have the same alcohol content of 4.2%, but Michelob Ultra is the healthier beer with significantly fewer calories and carbs per can. Both beers aren’t especially prominent in the flavor department and are crisp, with Coors Light being the more refreshing beer.

This answer gives you an idea of the strengths of both beers, but it does not do full justice to which of these beers is better. For that, we need more extensive insight into their beer characteristics, including their flavor, aroma, mouthfeel, calories, alcohol content, and appearance. Read on!


Coors Light has perhaps the richest history among light beers in the United States. While this light beer was not the first to officially hit the market, Coors was one of the first brands to explore light variants of their flagship beer.

The original idea of a Coors beer lighter in body and calories was in the 1940s, about 30 years before light beers even became a thing in the United States. However, the light Coors beer in the 1940s could not make any real success because of the Second World War. Moreover, the lack of a ready market meant the brand wasn’t keen on re-exploring light beers after the war ended. This would change in the late 1970s, though.

After the success of Miller Lite, many major brands jumped on the light beer bandwagon and Coors was no exception. They officially introduced Coors Light in 1978, with the beer dubbed “Silver Bullet.”

Like the Coors brand, the Michelob brand has a lot of history, being one of the first beers in the United States. Michelob’s first light beer was Michelob Light, which AB InBev introduced in 1986. This beer did not take off as expected, and in 2002, Michelob Ultra was called upon to save the light line of the brand. It worked a treat!

As of 2021, Coors Light was the second best-selling beer in the United States, with Michelob Ultra coming in fourth place.

Beer Classification

Both of these beers are lagers. This is because they are brewed at low temperatures with bottom-fermenting yeast. The other broad category is ale, which are beers brewed using top-fermenting yeast at warm temperatures. Let’s sub-classify the beers, then.

Both of these beers meet the criteria to be categorized as light American lagers under the rules of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). These specifications are an alcohol content between 2.8 and 4.2%, an International Bitterness Units (IBU) between 8 and 12, and a Standard Reference Method (SRM) between 2 and 3.


These beers are two of the lightest-tasting beers on the market. Even among other light beers, Coors Light and Michelob Ultra are perceived as very light. However, while the taste is not very prominent, both beers have their distinct tastes.

Michelob Ultra has a general citrusy taste with very light hints of malt. Coors Light has a vague malty and hay-like taste, like carbonated water with hints of beer water. Neither of the beers is particularly sweet nor has any lasting aftertaste. However, Coors Light has slight bitter and sour notes when you drink.

A 12 oz Coors Light Bottle

Another difference between the two beers is in the adjuncts they use. Coors Light uses corn adjunct, while Michelob Ultra uses rice adjunct. The impact of these adjuncts on the eventual taste of the respective beers is insignificant, and you can barely discern the taste of the respective adjuncts.

Deciding which of these beers have the better taste is tricky as they aren’t the most flavorful of beers but I still think Michelob Ultra is the better beer in this regard.


Michelob Ultra and Coors Light are very refreshing beers. The Coors brand, in particular, has marketed Coors Light as the “World’s Most Refreshing Beer,” and they have a point. Coors Light is very watered down. You could even use it as a reliable substitute for water when thirsty. Michelob Ultra is very similar, too.

All in all, both beers are carbonated, crisp, and very refreshing. They don’t have lasting bitter aftertastes, although Coors Light may feel a little sour when drinking.


Michelob Ultra is basically odorless under normal conditions. Although, if you try hard enough, you may notice a mild citrusy smell. Coors Light has a smell of fresh-cut hay with minimal traces of malt in the smell.


According to official data, Michelob Ultra has 95 calories in a can of beer, while Coors Light has 102 calories. This is expected, considering Michelob Ultra is one of the healthiest beers on the market today and is marketed as such. For all of the lightness in the taste of Coors Light, it is richer in calories than I would imagine, though it still has fewer calories than most other light beers.

If there was any doubt about how far clear Michelob Ultra is of Coors Light as diet beers, the carbs per can of beer settled that. Michelob Ultra has 2.6g of carbs, while Coors Light has 5g, meaning the latter has almost double the carbs as the former.

Considering the calories and carbs content, there’s no debate about which is the healthier beer. Michelob Ultra would be better for you if you are under strict diet regulations.

Alcohol Content

The alcohol content of a beer is how much pure alcohol the beer has and is measured in alcohol by volume (ABV). According to the BJCP, light beers should have an alcohol content between 2.8 and 4.2%. Michelob Ultra and Coors Light have an alcohol content of 4.2%, just within the acceptable limits.

In practice, you will notice no difference in effects between the two beers under any drinking condition.


Coors Light is light golden in color, while Michelob Ultra has a pale, straw-like color. Alongside each other in a clear glass cup, you may be able to tell the difference, as Coors Light has a more vivid yellow color.

Being two different brands, though, there is no ambiguity in their containers. Coors Light also has an interesting property of parts of the can turning blue when cold, further contributing to its overall aesthetic appeal.

Brewing Process And Ingredients

Both beers are light lagers, so they use the same principles and techniques during fermentation. They have the same basic ingredients: hops, malt, and water. The major difference between the two beers in terms of ingredients is the adjuncts they use. Coors Light goes with corn, while Michelob Ultra uses rice.

What Do People Think About Both Beers?

Both of these beers are favorites in the light beer industry. This is well illustrated by their respective sales volume and market share. Still, there are different public opinions on each of the beers. Online, these opinions are shared on beer review platforms, and we will examine five of the best in the industry today.

PlatformCoors LightMichelob Ultra
Average Score6.16.2

Michelob Ultra takes the win on the rating table, holding a slight lead over Coors Light. Below, we will read more into the results.

The views of older and more seasoned drinkers can be seen on the first four platforms, which are the most experienced beer review platforms available today. From the table, Michelob Ultra takes two platforms, Coors Light takes one, and there’s a draw in one platform.

The inference I can draw from this is that older drinkers prefer Michelob Ultra. Traditionally, older drinkers tend to favor more flavorful and heavier beers. However, the shift to beers lesser in calories and carbs seems to have influenced these ratings. There’s practically no difference in the flavor intensity of both beers, implying that there’s no prejudice about strong flavors when ranking the two beers on these platforms.

A 12 oz Michelob ultra Bottle

To sum it all up, both of these beers aren’t flavorful, meaning older drinkers may not be the greatest of fans of either. However, Michelob Ultra is a far lighter beer, which may be enough to sway many on calorie watch.

The final platform on the table represents the views of less experienced and younger drinkers. Michelob Ultra takes the lead here, and to be fair, and it would win against virtually all light beers on this platform. This is because the beer has been a major hit among younger individuals and even athletes, which is what has driven its astronomic rise to the top.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for flavor in beers, then you wouldn’t be too impressed with either of these beers. They are the lightest you can get in the industry regarding taste. On the flip side, if you want a refreshing beer that can almost perfectly fill in for water on a sunny day, either of the beers would be good.

Michelob Ultra is the better of the two beers, in my opinion. It has a better taste and is the healthier option.

Coors Light Vs Michelob Ultra